an interactive monodrama for voice, real-time electronics and interactive video

on a text by Rainer Maria Rilke

Katherine Bergeron, voice

What is the cause, and the cost, of insight? What does it mean to see the world face to face? These questions were raised by the young Rilke in a passage from his Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, a journal he kept in 1904 while serving as secretary to the sculptor Rodin. They also lie at the heart of Vis-à-vis, a multimedia work for voice, real-time electronics and interactive video, which takes Rilke’s words as a dramatic point of departure.

The five scenes of the interactive score explore the text’s darkening affect, the audio material drawing on the singer's voice, the video focusing on her face. There is also one haunting visual quotation: a woman captured by the turn-of-the-century Parisian photographer Atget. The aim was to deploy the two media to suggest the shifting psychological relationship between the woman who sings and the nameless woman who is the subject of Rilke’s narration.

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